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Employment and skills

Western Dorset’s current workforce is considered ‘less skilled’ than the national average. A relatively high proportion of the workforce is in lower skilled occupations. Wages are consequently below regional average. Investment in skills and training is a major factor in creating a highly employable, higher skilled local population.

In the north and west of the county, there can be large physical distances between homes and quality opportunities.

Programme aims

  • more local people retained and brought in to local employment
  • increase in general wages
  • sustained low unemployment levels
  • improved workforce productivity

Our plan of action

In order to respond to challenges we used two main indicators of economic growth – Gross Value Added (GVA: the measure of the value of goods and services) and the associated full-time equivalent jobs (FTE). We took information from recent data to provide the following workstreams.

  • established careers and enterprise company enterprise advisor network for quality careers advice and support for schools
  • workforce investment support for SME businesses
  • improved access to quality education, training and employment opportunities
  • working for growth; promoting training and employment opportunities in public and private regeneration projects
  • Enterprise Education initiative, supporting the development of entrepreneurs and enterprise education and facilitate start-ups
  • delivery of functional and employability skills for residents with low skills, or who are unemployed, or inactive
  • construction sector
  • redundancy retraining

Studies conducted to contribute to this programme

2016 employment and skills study, funded by the Dorset LEP through Growth Deal 2which included assessing the need and opportunity to generate highly skilled employment in the area. It also looked at fostering and increasing the potential of existing sectors.

Our successes

Western Dorset Economic Growth Strategy delivery successes in 2018

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